What is life?. How does one define life in general?. Scientists and philosophers have not found it easy to define life. This is partly because life is a process, not a substance. The most acceptable definition of life is a biological description – using biological and physiological characteristics of living organisms – Metabolism, Respiration, Nutrition, Irritability, Growth, Excretion, Reproduction, which in high school we memorized using the acronym ‘MR NIGER’. Although there are newer and more scientific ways of describing these biological processes, the mystery of life still lies in their perfect and synchronized execution by the human body. At the bases of these complex physiological processes are physical and chemical elements, atoms and molecules, intertwined with intelligent signaling and regulatory mechanisms necessary for maintaining life. Our body and life itself, is a field of infinite correlation of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics with some direct influence of the planets and solar systems.
During respiration, we inhale billions of atoms and molecules that eventually end up as cells in our organs and tissues – liver cells, muscle cells, brain cells, bone cells etc. As we exhale, we discharge molecules of our degraded tissues and organs into the atmosphere. According to scientists, our body replaces 98% of all its atoms in less than one year!
“The body makes a new stomach lining every five days, a new skin, once every month, a new liver every six weeks, and a new skeleton every three months ..” (Dr Chopra)
The awesomeness of life overwhelms me at the birth of a new baby especially now that I am advanced in age with 4 grown children and 6 grand children.
The birth of each of my grand children set me in awe about this mystery. A few months ago, I was faced with the realization that my youngest daughter, my ’32-year-old-baby’ Tochi, had just given birth to her own ‘baby’, Noah. I gazed at the new born. I marveled at the perfection and the realization of the inbuilt potential already encoded in this infant – the potential to eat and digest food, to grow and eventually walk, talk, learn, reason and then become an adult. As the days ran into weeks and weeks into months, I am thrilled at the progress in the development of this ‘Newlife’. At 6 months, I watched as Noah instinctively and progressively proceeded to crawl, pushing ahead on his stomach and arms, aiming to grab the object he fancied in front of him!
The human body at maturity contains 30 to 37 trillions of cells which are the fundamental units of life. These cells are organized to form organs and systems. Each cell is continuously doing countless things per second and at the same time is aware of what the other cells are doing and correlates its activity with the others. Amazingly, despite all the activities going on within, the body maintains a stable state known as homeostasis.
No one puts it better than one of my most valued authors, Dr Deepak Chopra, in his book, “Power Freedom and Grace” …
“There is no time for one cell to tell the other, ‘Listen, I’m going to digest food, you wait and don’t think thoughts for now.’ Our stomach cells are digesting food, while our brain cells are thinking thoughts, while our gallbladder is making bile, while our immune system is killing germs. The cells not only do more than one thing at a time, but they all keep track of what the others are doing – otherwise, there would be a great of confusion in the body.”
This is amazing! This harmonious synchronized functioning of the human body explains why Jesus called the whole human race “One Body“. We were created to work like “ONE BODY“ in harmonious correlation!
“…. At the same time that it is correlating all these activities, our body is monitoring the movement of the earth, the moon, the planets, the stars, and the entire cosmos. Our body, our mind, our emotions, everything in our physiology is changing moment to moment, depending on the time of the day, the cycles of the moon, the seasons and even the tides..”
Wow! Our body is part of the universe! We have a direct relationship with the universe! A simple example of this synchronization of our bodies to factors of the universe is experience of the daily rhythm, the 24 hour cycle of night and day. As a result of the spinning of the earth on its axis around the sun and other solar systems, our body goes to sleep at night and awakens in the morning. Another simple example is the 28-day female menstrual cycle where biological rhythm is an expression of the cosmos. In other words, the cosmic rhythms has some impact on the human reproduction!
The human body contains 60% – 70% water, similar to the percentage of water on the planet. The rise and fall of the tides, or the tidal rhythms, which are the result of the gravitational pull exerted by the sun, the moon and stars on the oceans also affects our body such that we have periods of ‘high moods’ and ‘low moods’ in our day to day lives. Anything that goes on in the universe affects our body, whether we understand it or not. A lot can be said about the relationship of nature, or universe to the human life.
Two factors stand out here:
1 – Knowing our Purpose in life, and Living together as ONE BODY,
2 – Taking care of the Universe.
For the human life or the body, to function at it’s best, each cell in each tissue, each organ or system must know its purpose, perform its duty diligently and function in a harmonious cooperation with each other. We as living beings are created as “ONE BODY” – two words that describe God’s intention in creating us. When we know our true purpose and execute this with passion, love, gratitude, selflessness, good neighborliness, aware of our neighbours’ needs, we can create a World of Mystery and Miracles – just as the cells of the body. Each individual is important and is expected to play a role in this ONE BODY.
Secondly, the human life needs the universe. We are surrounded by nature and interact with it. Perhaps most people are only aware of the biosphere – the thin layer of the planet earth where life exists,- its soil, the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and organisms within it. We experience nature by the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. The Universe is, however, much more complex, that, even the air we breath, the water we drink and the food we eat are in relationship with the entire cosmos. Think of the seasons (Winter, Summer, Autumn and Summer) and visualize what happens to the air, the water and vegetation at the various seasons! Right from creation man has been dependent on nature and given the charge to cultivate and maintain it. Man, however, has been making serious negative incursions into our environment, through various forms of pollution, aforestation, and so on, not realizing the ultimate detriment to life itself. Conserving our environment means conserving life. Spend time in nature, admire it, learn about it and enjoy it. This is part of our duty in maintaining this Mystery called Life.
“Look deep into nature and you will
understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein
The Mystery of the Human Life is the concise description of the Mystery of Creation!